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  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 3

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45The horsemen sit like fixèd candlesticks
With torch staves in their hand, and their poor jades
Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips,
The gum down-roping from their pale-dead eyes,
And in their pale dull mouths the gemeled bit
50Lies foul with chawed grass, still and motionless.
And their executors, the knavish crows,
Fly o'er them all, impatient for their hour.
Description cannot suit itself in words
To demonstrate the life of such a battle
55In life so lifeless, as it shows itself.
horses droop their heads, their flanks and hips sagging, pus seeping from eyes as pale as death, and in their colorless mouths, the motionless bit is smeared with chewed grass. Meanwhile, their


Executors: people who dispose of whatever the dead leave behind

, malicious crows, fly over them, impatient for their moment. It’s beyond the power of words to describe an army so bereft of life.


They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.


They’ve said their prayers, and now they wait for death.


Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits,
And give their fasting horses provender,
And after fight with them?


Shall we go send them food and fresh clothing and feed their starving horses before we fight them?


60I stay but for my guard. On, to the field!
I will the banner from a trumpet take
And use it for my haste. Come, come away.
The sun is high, and we outwear the day.


I’m just waiting for my flag-bearer. But, never mind, I can’t wait. To the field! I’ll take the banner from a trumpeter and use that. Come, let’s be off! The sun is up and we’re wasting the day!
They all exit.